Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday 30th November - Tiverton Xmas Match Grand Western Canal

I was on the road early for this match (0630)as its a good 1 hour run and breakfast was available at Elmore Football Club. My two Team mates Sam and James were leaving Weston Super Mare about the same time but heading to McDonalds in Tiverton for breakie. I got there at 07:40 after taking a wrong turn (due to sat nav)and ordered my meal. A map of the pegging was on display, 56 pegs which shows there is an appetite out there for matches on natural venues. Peg 1 was in the Basin area in the town (where the canal starts)and the remaining pegs progressing out of town. Top 5 individual and 4 sections of 14 to be paid out. There were no other anglers from our end of the West Country and I did not recognise any of the others. James and Sam arrived and we paid our pools and got into the draw que, I had a feeling I would draw the basin area and I did, peg 5, Sam drew 6 and James was in the 40's.

I had fished the basin area about 20 years ago in the spring and weights were not good then. Local angler and fellow blogger Russell Hilton (who was not fishing today) gave me some advice via e-mail so I thought I was as prepared as much as possible, the advice was go positive with bread early for big skimmers and bream. The peg to be honest looked ok with a dead lilly pad across and it was about 2 foot deep here about 13 meters across at 11:00. Straight across under a tree I had the same at 11 meters and about 3 foot down the track. My bread rigs were 4 x14's with 0.10 to 16's, the chop and caster was a 4x10 with an 18 to 0.09.

On the 'all in' I cupped in liqqy down the track and across to the dead lillys, chop and caster went in undr the tree straight across. Shipping out and in had to be done parallel to the canal as the public footpatch was immediately behind me and behind that was a hedge and fence panels.
As expected I had bites straight away on the bread and within the first 30 mins had about 6 small roach then it died, it was the same for the pegs above and below me. The chop and caster line produced 3 very very small roach all day. I did keep adding the odd small roach on the bread during the day but it was a long wait for a bite. At about 13:00 we saw the guy on peg 3 land a pike and we all said 'thats the section won', it appeared to be about 3lb.
At 14:00 I decided to feed heavy with bread down the track and remain on this line for the last hour. At about 14:30 the float sailed away and the no.6 elastic stretched and headed for the far bank, I thought it was a pike or a tench, It was diffcult to control due to people walking behind me and then stopping to watch. I managed to turn it an landed a hybrid of about a pound and a half. Next put it the float disappeared again, slight resistance and then came free, a pike had bit the line! That was it for me.

Scales came down, peg 2 had 1kg 600grm, peg 3 had only the pike which went 1kg 100grm, peg 4 1kg 200grm, I had 1kg 400grm, Sam had 1kg 200 and the guy on peg 6 had 1kg 700grm. There was a gap then as a big bay was not put in, best weight after that was 5kg plus made up of some nice skimmers caught on caster,
So in my area I had not done bad. I think the bright conditions killed it.

Back at the results... 9kg won it from a peg in the 40's (match organiser) so a £100 pick up and a big hamper, he alos won another big hamper in the raffle.
Sections on average were won with less than 3kgs, 5th place I believe was around 5kg.

I finished 15th overall so not too bad out of 56 and on a venue I had not fished for 20 years. The match was really well run and with good prizes.

I did not come home empty handed.

The organises said it was their best attended event for quite a few years, I will certainly try to make it next year.
Thanks to Russell for the advice (I'll draw better next time!).


  1. Hey Ivan, that's a great turnout. Regretting not being able to fish even more now! I didn't actually anticipate the area you were in to be included. I think a teams of four thing in the summer would be fantastic on that canal. You could include 4 completely different sections - the canal is very different out of town.

  2. I asked about Opens on the Canal but apparently there is only 1 in June in addition to the Christmas Match. I think there is an opportunity here, I guess the horsedrawn barge is a prob though.